Nov 22, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen runs onto the field before the game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Vanderbilt Commodores at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Mullen’s strategy works for maintaining bowl eligibility and consistency. It seems unlikely to help them win the SEC West, though. Mississippi State has not set the recruiting world on fire under Mullen, either, further dampening the prospects of 2014 becoming the new normal in Starkville.
Whether you give Dan Mullen your approval or not depends on expectations. Maintaining annual bowl eligibility should be the key to success at Mississippi State. Mullen has done that. But fans should not expect years like 2014 to become an annual expectation.
Maroon and White Nation
Mullen is currently coaching a cyclical program. Mississippi State’s last rise was in 2010, when they destroyed Michigan in the Gator Bowl and won 9 games. They followed that season with a 7-6 record (bowl included) and would likely be headed down the same path in 2015 had Dak Prescott gone pro.
Mullen’s program cycles in 4th year juniors and 5th year seniors with regularity. His program is the equivalent of a mid-major in college basketball that is able to beat the powerhouses with more elite talent sometimes due to superior experience.
Dan Mullen may never have a winning SEC record, but he will rarely ever miss a bowl game. That is not something many Mississippi State coaches have been able to claim. He has elevated the status of Mississippi State football and should be trusted to keep it going. He gets the Southbound and Down thumbs up.
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